*Author’s Note: the below post contains mild spoilers for Seasons 1-3 of the modern Doctor Who BBC television show.
Now, before I dive right into all the reasons I love Doctor Who, I should say that I’ve had people telling me I should watch Doctor Who for years now. I would always brush these people off with a “Sure, sure, one of these days” comment while inwardly laughing at the very idea that I might enjoy such a thing. I think my resistance stemmed from the fact that when I was very young I watched a few of the 1970’s era Doctor Who episodes on PBS and they scared me silly. Seriously scary. Nightmare inducing scary. I remember one particular episode where extremely tall mummies ran around strangling people with their concave chests.
But I finally caved, and started watching from the beginning of the modern reboot, with Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor. I am now halfway through the 10th Doctor’s stint. So, with no further ado, and in no particular order, I give you…
10 Reasons I Love Doctor Who
1. The camp factor. Even as a child, I realized that Doctor Who was pretty campy (not that that made it any less scary). The special effects were, to put it kindly, primitive. I remember one particular episode where a lizard alien stumbled on his entrance and you could see the zipper of his costume coming undone. The modern Doctor Who uses much more sophisticated special effects without trying to make the show something it’s not.
2. It’s British, and it knows it. Nearly every episode contains some kind of cheeky reference to British culture, class divisions, history, or linguistics. Not to mention that fact that despite the TARDIS being able to travel anywhere in space/time, the Doctor and his companions spend a majority of their time on Earth, in the UK, usually in London.
3. Daleks. God, the Daleks are scary. But part of me wants to chain one up in my basement and teach it how to love. Exterminate.
4. There are no real laws of physics. The science in Doctor who is incredibly soft. The shows frequently bends the laws of physics in insane and unexplained ways, and when the Doctor does bother to explain something scientific it’s usually techno-babble designed to entertain the audience more than anything else. On top of that, even when there is a “law” of some kind, it is invariably bent or broken sooner or later. Some people might find this irritating, but I love it. So many science fiction shows or movies get bogged down in the hard science while missing out on the important stuff.
5. The companions. Let’s face it, the Doctor has a soft spot for pretty girls. But he also likes his companions tenacious, intelligent, brave, and fun. So far (and I’ve only met a few of them) none of the Doctor’s companions have been brainless arm-candy whose only purpose is to act the damsel so the Doctor can save her. No–he’s chosen witty, deep, courageous women to accompany him on his larks across the galaxy. And that’s a preference I can get behind.
6. Hilarious and amazing aliens/future humans. The Face of Boe. Slitheens from Raxacoricofallapatorius. The Ood. Tree people and cat people. Oh, and in one recent episode I discovered that when a cat-human hybrid from the future mates with a pure human, they have kittens. No, seriously. Kittens. I don’t know who comes up with this stuff, but I adore them.
7. The sonic screwdriver. Can I get me one of these? From opening locked doors to performing medical scans to deactivating killer robots, this thing is truly a multi-purpose tool.
8. Meta humor, running jokes and recurring references. Oh, where do I even begin? Doctor Who fans know that something bad will always happen on Christmas Day, and Bad Wolf refers something more than a fairy tale. There are catchphrases: “Fantastic!” and “Allons-y, Alonzo!” And, of course, let’s not forget: “I’m the Doctor.” “Doctor who?”
9. The TARDIS. A 1960’s era small blue British police-box disguising a gigantic alien spaceship designed to travel through time? And that flashing light on top? And that iconic noise? WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?!???
10. The Doctor himself. Who is the Doctor? He is so many things. A madman in a blue box. The last Time Lord. A true outsider, alone even when surrounded by people. He is fiercely protective of those he cares about, but cruel to his enemies. Intelligent, eccentric, spirited and resourceful, the Doctor roams the universe fighting injustice, tyranny and exploitation. He is not human, yet his humanity is his greatest weapon in the endless war against evil spanning space and time. He wears many faces to the outside world, but his one true identity is a horrible secret, buried in the ruin of a once-great civilization.
Also, he’s pretty cute. Maybe I’ll tie him up in my basement and teach him how to love.
Are you a Doctor Who fan? What about the show do you love? I’d love to hear your comments below!